When first conducting proposal and resource development workshops many years ago I quickly came to understand that all the savvy in the world was inconsequential if people didn't want to spend their time learning with me.
Whether working with those looking for grants to support non-profit organizations or making decisions to provide funding for such organizations, my credibility is based on my core values. Here are some of the words that have shaped and comprise my values.
First, an excerpt from a 1990 article published by the Industrial Areas Foundation, titled "Standing for the Whole",
We believe in what we call the iron rule: never do for others what they can do for themselves. Never. This rule, difficult to practice consistently, sometimes violated, is central to our view of the nature of education, of leadership, of effective organizing. This cuts against the grain of some social workers and program peddlers who try to reduce people and families to clients, who probe for needs and lacks and weaknesses, not strength and drive, not vision and values, not democratic and entrepreneurial initiative. The iron rule implies that the most valuable and enduring form of development - intellectual, social, political - is the development people freely choose and fully own.
This is no less the case when applied to resource and proposal development, an area now and then populated by would-be experts.
And, this from Robert Matthews Johnson in his wondrous book, The First Charity, written many years ago,
There has been much talk about community in the past 25 years. There has even been, supposedly, a neighborhood movement. But darn few neighborhood people have been involved. Too much of the tone has been professional, entrepreneurial people speaking for others. Too many so-called community organizations have become too far removed from the issues that affect everyday life in communities.
The content of my new book, the link to which is found on this site, rests on these same values.